A Special Gift
I remember I was sitting down on the sofa in the dining room with my two sisters. I was about eight years old, my sister Shauna was six and my other sister Megan was three.
There we were sitting down the three of us with a piece of paper with the heading: "Things we want from Santa Claus." It was September. Each of us had a catalogue from which we chose at least three things on every page. It had 500 pages.
My sister Megan didn’t yet know how to write and she tried to draw what she wanted. My sister Shauna looked like she was writing a novel and I decided to cut out the pictures of the catalogue and stick them on my page, as if I were making my own catalogue.
When we showed my mother one of our Christmas lists, we couldn’t understand why, but she turned pale. She said something like, "Don’t you know that Santa Claus isn’t a millionaire!" We thought he was. So every day after finishing school and doing our homework, we would continue to add things to our list and we would cross out the days with a red marker on the calendar as they went by, very happy because we knew that now we were one day closer to Christmas.
Christmas was our favourite time of the year because we could eat all the chocolate we wanted and wear our new clothes and on top of that we got lots of presents.
My other favourite time of the year was my birthday, which was just before Christmas. We used to eat a big cake. On that day all my friends used to come to my house, and we used to play together and have a great time.
But that year was different. I was going to be nine years old and my mother had planned a surprise party. So when I got up in the morning I didn’t find any birthday card, or birthday presents. Nobody said "Happy birthday!" to me and every time my sister Shauna looked at me she seemed to be laughing. Perhaps I had made a mistake, I thought, and my birthday is really tomorrow. But no, the calendar said it was today. My mother, seeing that I was sad and a little confused, said, "Happy birthday!" but that was all. Off I went to school. My friends didn’t say anything to me either.
Boys and girls, you have no idea how sad I felt. Everyone had forgotten my birthday. When school was over all my friends left quickly. They didn’t even say goodbye. I started to cry. Nobody had remembered my birthday. When I arrived home and opened the door all my friends and family shouted: "Happy birthday!" They had remembered all along!!! How happy I was!
But why am I telling this, you may well be asking?
In September, my sisters and I started to prepare for Christmas but for all the wrong reasons. We wanted Christmas to arrive so that we could receive presents. How silly we were! At Christmas we always receive the greatest, the best, the most beautiful of all presents, a present that we cannot wrap up in a box. Christmas, the 25th of December, is the day that Jesus our Saviour is born! And what do we do, boys and girls? We forget that it is His birthday and we only think of ourselves. We forget about the Child Jesus! Imagine how sad I felt that year when I thought that my family and friends had forgotten my birthday. And every year, Our Lord Jesus has to feel like that because everyone forgets His birthday.
Instead of preparing our Christmas list this year, let’s prepare our hearts so that Our Lord may be born in them too. I am sure that this is the best present we can give Him for His birthday.